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tenant-Colonel how his Colonel, or Lieutenant how his Captain, or any one man knows how another was lost. This only every one knows, that, since England was England, it received not so dishonourable a blow.” Strafford Letters, vol. ii. p. 42.
P. 197. With Master Donne's Satires.] As this epigram was published in 1616, and no earlier edition of Donne's Satires is known than that of 1633, it may be presumed that the volume sent to the Countess of Bedford must have been a manuscript transcript such as is now in the British Museum with the date of 1593. There is, however, a letter from Donne to Sir H. G., dated “Vigilia Sti. Tho. 1614," in which he mentions his resolution to print his poems, “not so much for public view, but at mine own cost, a few copies," and there can be little doubt that Mr. Collier is right in his conjecture that a “now lost edition of his Satires was once in circulation."
P. 198. To sir Henry Savile.) In the Discoveries (vol. ix. p. 164), Jonson speaks of Sir Henry Savile, as "grave and truly lettered.” When he told Drummond that “ the first foure bookes of Tacitus were ignorantly done in English,” he was speaking of the Annals, which were translated by a totally different person.
P. 200. To John Donne.] Gifford's assertion in the note that Jonson's vocabulary “has no peculiarities,” is very amusing. I began a list of them, but soon desisted. In the third line of this epigram for instance:
“That so alone canst judge, so alone dost make," the word make is so often used by him in this sense of “compose poetry" as to amount to a “peculiarity.” In the last line but one there are no fewer than three unnecessary commas. By placing one after “burst," the sense (!) becomes “their backs are to be loaded till they burst,” whereas it really means "they load them until they burst (i.e. break) their backs.
P. 201. By his each glorious parcel to be known.] Each parcel is here used for each part or particular.
P. 203. On Playwright.] In the note Gifford calls those wretched victims Henry Weber and Stephen Jones a "case of asses." As he had only found out the meaning of the word at p. 189, he deserves some credit for bringing it so speedily into use.
P. 204. Knat, rail, and ruff too.] A knat, or knot, is a bird of the snipe kind.
P. 206. To Mary lady Wroth.] It ought to have been mentioned that Jonson dedicated the Alchemist to this lady. See vol. iv. p. 5. It is pleasant to find that when it became known to
her father's old captains of the Flushing garrison, that his eldest daughter was about to be married, they sent £200 to London “to buy her a chayn of Perle, or otherwise to employ as she pleases. We humbly desyre that it may be accepted as a Remembrance of the love of her poore Servants hear." Sidney Papers, vol. ii. P. 305.
P. 209. To sir Edward Herbert.] Jonson's great critical work on the Art of Poetry was to have been introduced by an epigram of Sir Edward Herbert, the future Lord Herbert of Cherbury, see vol. ix. p. 371. The loss of that portion of the work need not cause much regret.
P. 209. To captain Hungry.) This is a vigorous denunciation of a class of men, of which specimens must have been continually cropping up as they returned from serving out their time with the English, Scotch, and Irish mercenaries, who during James's peaceful reign had been playing such a conspicuous part in the German wars-Dugald Dalgettys, with all his effrontery, and habits of laying in provant, but without his manly and soldierly qualities. They must have been particularly offensive to Jonson, who knew what soldiering was, and with his keen perception of humours must have been doubly able to see through them.
P. 210. Than can a flea at twice skip in the map.) This passage would be much more easily understood if the line preceding this were printed as a parenthesis :
(If but to be believed you have the hap). P. 210. Nay, now you puff, tusk, and draw up your chin.] Richardson takes for granted that this is the verb, from the common word tusk, and means to show the teeth. But there is another tuske, or “tuske of heyres," which Peter Levins (A.D. 1570) translates by crinetum, and I feel sure that Jonson intended his tuske in this place for pulling out the moustachios, and giving them the appearance of tusks, à la Wild Boar of Ardennes. Mr. Wheatley also quotes, “Tuske of heer, monceau de cheveulx" (Palsgrave). But see Bartholomew Fair (vol. iv. p. 392), “Vapours ! never tusk or twirl your dibble."
P. 213. To make thy lent life good against the fates.] I suppose the editors have taken for granted that “lent life” refers to the temporary tenure on which we hold it. I think, however, that lent in this place means mild and gentle, and is the positive of the comparative“ lenter—"all those lenter heats”—which Jonson uses in the Alchemist, vol. iv. p. 94. The word in either form is, I suppose, peculiar to Jonson, "who has no peculiarities."
P. 214. Clement Edmonds on his Cæsar's Commentaries.] This work, according to Lowndes, was published in three parts from
1600 to 1609. My copy (which belonged to the Library so ruthlessly cast to the winds by the Royal Society in 1873) is of the three volumes bound in one, without separate title pages, but with a general engraved title without date. At the top of it is an excellent portrait of Prince Henry, by whose command the translator had “supplied such parts as were wanting to make up the Totall of these Commentaries." Camden, Sam. Danyell, and Joshua Sylvester, keep Jonson company as commendators.
P. 217. To mistress Philip Sidney.] It is perfectly preposterous for Gifford to suppose that these lines could be addressed to the widow of the hero and poet, who had become Countess of Essex as early at least as the spring of 1590, when Jonson, according to Gifford's reckoning, was in his sixteenth year. The exact date of her marriage to Essex has never been ascertained, but their son the Parliamentary General was christened 22nd January, 1591, in Lady Walsingham's house in Seething Lane. But under no circumstances, as I understand the custom of the time, could "the daughter of that great statesman Sir Francis Walsingham" have been addressed by Jonson as mistress Philip Sidney.
I had written this note many months ago, and was about to send it to the press as it is, when it occurred to me that as Jonson had told Drummond that one of Lord Lisle's sons was the express image of his uncle Sir Philip, so perhaps one of the daughters might for the same reason have been called “Mistress Philip" as an affectionate family nick-name. On searching in the right quarter I was delighted to find that on the 18th August, 1594, a daughter was born to Sir Robert Sidney, who was christened Philip. “So wrote in the Register of Penshurst,” says Collins quite grumblingly, “who married Sir John Hobart,” &c. &c. &c. Who can doubt that this lady, “so wrote in the Register,” is the mistress Philip Sidney of Jonson's verses, and one of that family so beautifully described, post, p. 248? She married Sir John Hobart, son and heir of the Lord Chief-Justice Hobart, who wrote a most touching letter to her father on her death in September, 1620. In after years it was docketed by her brother, the second Earl of Leicester. “From my Lord Chief-Justice, after the death of my deare sister, for whom he sheweth much sorrow.”
P. 220. On Groine.] The whole point of this tums on the then fashionable meaning of the word occupy. Jonson says in the Discoveries (vol. ix. p. 185), “Many, out of their own obscene apprehensions, refuse proper and fit words, as occupy, nature and the like;" and that high authority Doll Tearsheet exclaims: “A captain ! God's light, these villains will make the word as odious as the word occupy, which was an excellent good word before it was ill-sorted."
I am half sorry to find that the next epigram, clever as it is, was among the “most common-places of his repetition" (vol. ix. p. 372).
P. 223. To Benjamin Rudyerd.] Sir Benjamin Rudyerd's Poems and Speeches have been collected, and his Memoirs written (after a sort) by James Alexander Manning of the Inner Temple. The best notion of his character and talents and position will be gathered from the numerous mentions of him in Mr. Forster's Life of Sir John Eliot. The penultimate line of the epigram is not a little impaired by the unauthorized substitution of " can be thought unfit” for the "to be thought unfit" of the original.
P. 225. Underneath this stone doth lie, c.] Gifford winds up his note by reprehending the Spectator for misquoting Jonson, and commences the sentence by misquoting the Spectator. “I cannot close this moral” is converted into “I cannot close this essay."
P. 226. Sir William Uvedale.] “ July 1st, 1609," I find a “grant to William Uvedale, jun., in reversion after Sir Francis Bacon, of the office of Clerk of the Council of the Star Chamber ;” and on July 1st, 1615, another grant to “succeed Sir Thomas Overbury, in his reversion of the Treasurership of the Chamber.” On January 13, 1618, he obtained the actual office of Treasurer, and on May 11, a “ warrant for allowance of diet of three dishes of meat as Treasurer."
P. 229. To Alphonso Ferrabosco. The third line affords another instance of the extraordinary carelessness of Gifford : "Speak her own effects !". What is the meaning of it? Jonson wrote and printed “Speak her known effects.” In the fifth line “Declineth anger," means turns aside anger.”
P. 234. And with both bombast style and phrase, rehearse.] Why Gifford should have substituted bombast for the far more expressive bombard of the original is more than I can pretend to explain.
P. 236. And bade her farewell sough unto the lurden.) Sough is a long sigh, as of the wind, and is still in use in Scotland. Lurden, says Nares, is “any great lumpish body," and is here applied to the lighter.
P. 237. For, yet, no nare was tainted.] Nare was nose or rather nostril. The learned Archdeacon who gives the former interpretation remarks, “It is fortunate for me that the word was never common, as it would have exposed my name to many bad puns."
P. 239. My Muse had plough'd with his that sung A-JAX.) From the grave Camden downwards everybody seemed to think this
joke was never to grow old. Pope was one of the last to make use of the word:
“Here all his suffering brotherhood retire,
Well purged, and worthy Settle, Banks and Broome." To the last name, which I have no doubt was in reality intended for William Broome, who translated sundry books of his Odyssey, he adds a note which is not out of place in an edition of Ben Jonson: “Broome was a serving-man of Ben Jonson's, who once picked up a comedy from his letters, or from some cast scenes of his master, not entirely contemptible.” The fact being that Brome was the author of fifteen original plays, the worst of which is considerably better than a certain Three Hours After Marriage, in the making of which some great wits are said to have aided But the truth is that Pope knew nothing about Richard Brome but the name, and only wished to make use of him as a screen against William Broome.
NOTES TO THE FOREST.
Page 243 touch or marble.] Touch seems never to have been admitted to be marble. In Lord Bacon's will I find that
he provides specially for the disposal of the “armour, and also tables of marble and touch.”
P. 244. Thy mount, to which thy Dryads do resort.] Jonson's line is :
“Thy mount to which the Dryads do resort.” P. 248. Sir Robert Wroth.] Sir Robert, it is understood, was not in every way worthy of the race into which he married, and did not long survive the occasion on which these verses were written. On March 17, 1614, I find Chamberlain writing to Carleton, “Sir Robert Wroth dead, leaving a young wife with £1,200. jointure, a son a month old, and his estate £23,000 in debt."
P. 250. They think not then, which side the cause shall leese.] See Every Man out of His Humour, vol. ii. p. 163. It is found in